Nearly every morning, I sit down and compose 2-3 handwritten pages in my journal. I follow a practice called “Morning Pages,” which is outlined by Julia Cameron in her excellent book The Artist’s Way.
I don’t have any agenda for what I’m writing about. I write about whatever comes to mind. Usually, I’m talking about my feelings, what’s happening in my life, or sorting out a problem I need to solve.
But the benefits of journaling go far beyond the emotional and intellectual. In fact, journaling helps you become a better overall writer in three practical, and surprising, ways:
1. You develop the habit of writing every day.
If you’re going to be successful on any level as a writer, then regular writing is a must. The more you write, the better you are going to become.
Whether you are writing books, blog posts, articles, social media posts, podcast content, or something else … a daily writing habit will help you improve your skills. Your ability to write solid content quickly is a skill that is transferable to almost any type of work.
2. You release your creativity through the act of writing.
Nearly every time I sit down to journal, it generates ideas, thoughts, or memories about something that I would not have accessed otherwise. This creativity spills over to other areas of your life.
We live in a fast-paced world. It’s critical to slow down and just observe for a few moments—to process what is going on. Journaling is a great way to do this. You are a better thinker and writer when you can critically observe both yourself and the world around you.
3. You have a written record of your life.
One of my most prized possessions is a notebook from the 1970’s that contains handwritten poems from my grandmother. She was a great writer, and oh how I wish she had kept a journal! I’m very much like her in the way that I think, create, and process the world.
When you keep a journal, you have a record of your thoughts and ideas. You can look back and see your progress and how you have changed and grown.
Having a journal benefits you both now and in the future. Journaling also helps you become a better writer for your business, company, or organization.
I can’t begin to tell you how much this simple habit of doing journaling has impacted my life. If you’ve never done journaling, I encourage you to start small with just a few minutes a day, or even just a half-page a day for a week. Give it a try and see what you think.
Do you keep a journal? If so, how has it helped you become a better writer?